The Weight of a Piano

The Weight of a Piano

For fans of Ann Patchett's Bel Canto, Amanda Coplin's The Orchardist, and Annie Proulx's Accordion Crimes. A tour-de-force about two women and the piano that inexorably ties their lives together through time and across continents, for better and for worse.

In 1962, in the Soviet Union, eight-year-old Katya is bequeathed what will become the love of her life: a Blüthner piano, built at the turn of the century in Germany, on which she discovers everything that she herself can do with music and what music, in turn, does for her. Yet after marrying, she emigrates with her young family from Russia to America, at her husband's frantic insistence, and her piano is lost in the shuffle.

In 2012, in Bakersfield, California, twenty-six-year-old Clara Lundy loses another boyfriend and again has to find a new apartment, which is complicated by the gift her father had given her for her twelfth birthday, shortly before he and her mother died in a fire that burned their house down: a Blüthner upright she has never learned to play. Ophaned, she was raised by her aunt and uncle, who in his car-repair shop trained her to become a first-rate mechanic, much to the surprise of her subsequent customers. But this work, her true mainstay in a scattered life, is put on hold when her hand gets broken while the piano's being moved--and in sudden frustration she chooses to sell it. And what becomes crucial is who the most interested party turns out to be. . .

Title:The Weight of a Piano
ISBN:9780525654674
Format Type:

About Chris Cander

Chris Cander is the author of the novels THE WEIGHT OF A PIANO (forthcoming from Knopf, 2019), WHISPER HOLLOW, and 11 STORIES, and the grade K-5 picture book THE WORD BURGLAR. Visit


    The Weight of a Piano Reviews

  • Tammy

    Pianos are difficult to move. Ponderous and unwieldly, a piano cannot be moved by oneself. Help is required. This particular piano carries with it not only its heft but emotional attachments that are ...

  • Cindy Burnett

    Chris Cander’s new book, The Weight of a Piano is simply stunning. Her story follows the life of a Bluthner piano as it travels from owner to owner. In addition to the piano, there are two women who...

  • Marjorie

    In 1962, 8-year-old Russian Katya receives a piano, which is bequeathed to her by her elderly neighbor, who recognizes the music in Katya. The piano is a German Bluthner. Katya becomes a gifted pianis...

  • Claude Bouchard

    OMG, can this book be any more irritating? Every major character in this book is either depressed, behaves badly, or keeps making bad decisions. It's essentially the story of a young Russian girl name...

  • Shana

    I have a total "book hangover!" The story is poignant, but more importantly to me is how the people are so real! This author clearly understands human emotion on another level, and pulls the reader ri...

  • Janelle ? She Reads with Cats

    Thank you so very much Knopf for my free copy of THE WEIGHT OF A PIANO -This is an emotional, poignant novel with elegant prose that will pull you in so much you won’t want to let go.In 1962, eight-...

  • Tory

    The start was GORGEOUS. The piano-maker roaming the Romanian forests to find a perfect tree; the craftsmen carefully creating each instrument by hand. But then: for as sweeping a story as it was, the ...

  • Jonathan

    I couldn’t decide whether to give this book a 3/ 3.5/ or a 4 and After debating I decided on a 4 because it genuinely was a good novel. It had some predictable moments however, the alternating stori...

  • Jen Coombes

    This book was provided to me for free from Net Galley in exchange for a fair review.Chris Cander starts out this book with a mind blowingly good first chapter. The problem with introducing a book with...

  • Stephanie Crowe

    The Weight Of a Piano by Chris CanderI knew that Cander was writing this book and it’s title always intrigued me. Now it’s finished and what a book it is!! The piano has always been a part of my l...